Home » Mary Berry, 86, Is Made A Dame Commander By The Prince Charles

Mary Berry, 86, Is Made A Dame Commander By The Prince Charles

Mary Berry has been made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales for a lifetime of cooking, writing and baking.

The former Great British Bake Off judge, 86, has published more than 50 books during a career spanning more than five decades and was honoured during a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony.

Dame Mary dressed in a chic white dress and hat as she received the accolade from Prince Charles on Wednesday, before posing afterwards with her husband Paul Hunnings.

Honour: Mary Berry has been made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales for a lifetime of cooking, writing and baking

She has become a popular figure with home cooks in recent years, thanks to her previous judging role on The Great British Bake Off series and hosting her own programmes including Celebrity Best Home Cook.

Dame Mary was also recognised for her charity work and is patron of Child Bereavement UK. Her son William passed away after a car crash at the age of 19.

Two investitures were held on the same day, in what is believed to be a first, for ‘practical’ reasons a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said, with Charles hosting the first and the Princess Royal the second.

All smiles: Dame Mary dressed in a chic white dress and hat as she received the accolade from Prince Charles on Wednesday, before posing afterwards with her husband Paul Hunnings

Happy: The leading cookery writer and broadcaster, 86, has published more than 50 books during a career spanning more than five decades and was honoured during a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony

The ceremonies resumed in June after being halted during the pandemic, and there are likely to be a number of recipients who have waited to be honoured by a member of the royal family, rather than opting for a local presentation or receiving the honour in the post.

Also being recognised was Sir Philip May the husband of former prime minister Theresa May, who was knighted by Charles for political service.

Sir Philip was the UK’s second male consort, and away from supporting his wife forged his own successful career in the finance sector.

Success: She has become a popular figure with home cooks in recent years, thanks to her previous judging role on The Great British Bake Off series and hosting her own programmes

Kind: Dame Mary is also recognised for her charity work and is patron of Child Bereavement UK

Proud: She posed afterwards with the accolade which was presented to her by Prince Charles

Ceremony: Also being recognised was Sir Philip May the husband of former prime minister Theresa May, who was knighted by Charles for political service

Knighted: Sir Philip was the UK’s second male consort, and away from supporting his wife forged his own successful career in the finance sector

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Steven Knight, the film director and screenwriter who wrote the film Spencer about three days in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and created the popular drama Peaky Blinders, was made a CBE.

Karen Gibson, founder and director of the Kingdom Choir which performed during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding, was also made an MBE.

Mary has been married to Paul Hunnings for over fifty years, after they tied the knot during a family ceremony in Bath in 1966. They’ve had three children together, Thomas, Annabel and William.

William sadly passed away in a car crash at the age of 19.

Achievement: Mary Berry is made a Dame Commander by the Prince of Wales for a lifetime of cooking, writing and baking during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle

Beautiful: Mary beamed at Prince Charles as she chatted to him at Windsor

It comes after last week Dame Mary revealed she had to wait three-and-a-half hours for an ambulance after breaking her hip.

The TV presenter underwent surgery and was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, for ten days after the accident in August.

Dame Mary told the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine she was in her garden picking sweet peas when she tripped over some bricks and ‘went down really hard’.

She said she was ‘perfectly happy’ to wait for the emergency services, despite one of her feet ‘turning out’.

Dame Mary, who now has a slight limp and is using a walking stick, told Frances Hardy: ‘I had a new knee a few years ago and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ve hurt my knee’.

Scary: It comes after last week Dame Mary revealed she had to wait three-and-a-half hours for an ambulance after breaking her hip

‘I sat quite still. I’d encourage everyone to have a phone with them always, when they’re out dog-walking, crossing a field… with a phone you can always get help.’

She called her husband Paul, who was in the house watching cricket, joking that he didn’t pick up as ‘the cricket’s more important’.

Her daughter Annabel was at a tennis tournament so she phoned her son-in-law Dan, who arrived within ten minutes.

She said: ‘He saw me and said, ‘I’ll get an ambulance’. I said, ‘Oh, no, I’m fine’, but he overruled me. He rang for the ambulance and they said, ‘We’re very, very busy’. It was Sunday afternoon and there were lots of football injuries and whatever.’

The star, whose two dogs Darcy and Freddie were at her side the whole time, continued: ‘We waited for three-and-a-half hours, until 6pm, and quite right too! I was perfectly happy.

‘There may have been a road accident. I quite understood that they were busy and Dan was caring for me. He kept me chatting.

‘When the ambulance arrived Dan told Paul. It was a shock for him, seeing me go off. They took me to the Royal Berkshire Hospital and they were so good at explaining. One foot was turning out and they said I’d broken my hip.’

Dame Mary, who had polio as a child, had surgery the next morning. ‘I was never nervous,’ she said. ‘I didn’t get a shiny new hip. They just repaired the old one and popped it back in. And oh, they were all lovely!’

The TV cook revealed that the nurses inundated her with pictures of their lemon drizzle cakes.

She used only paracetamol for pain relief and attributes her good recovery to ‘lots of physio’. She is trying to ‘walk in a straight line’ before returning to filming next month.

The TV presenter (pictured left, on Countryfile and right, in 2019) said she was ‘perfectly happy’ to wait for the emergency services, despite one of her feet ‘turning out’